Duo’s walk on the wild side is battle against game poaching
AHUSBAND and wife team have completed a gruelling 500km trek across the Serengeti to raise money for an anti-poaching campaign.
Paul Naden and Lisa Norgren began the challenge as a response to the shocking death of Cecil the Lion in July.
It is believed that they are the first Westerners to be recorded walking the entire distance of the Serengeti.
The couple completed the trek in just 11 days in 40 degree heat on September 24 with Arctic explorer Johan Ernst Nilson, Masai Mara tribe guides and armed rangers.
Father-of-four Paul said: “We saw amazing beauty and scenes of absolute horror collide in the searing heat.
“It was magnificent, the privilege to be walking alongside these endangered animals was simply magical.
“But we also came across very sad scenes of dead elephants that had had their tusks cut off with chainsaws.”
In 24 hours they saw three killed elephants and found nearly a hundred snares designed to trap and kill endangered animals.
The couple launched Seeing Red, a charity focusing on tackling animal poaching, after Paul stepped down from his role as a director with Macclesfield-based financial services firm Quint to dedicate his time to supporting anti-poaching efforts.
Their journey started at the Masai Mara National Park in the northern Serengeti and ended at the Grumeti Game Reserve.
Every day the group set off at dawn and walked between 40km and 50km until 6pm in blistering heat.
Paul, 46, said: “It was extremely difficult. The walking was really tough and there was very little rest. At night rangers had to patrol the tents because lions would be out there circling.”
However Paul and Lisa, who live in Wilmslow, were warned that poachers would be more dan- gerous than leopards.
At one point they nearly confronted poachers at the site of a lethal snare.
Paul said: “If we had met the poachers there would have been a gunfight. It’s not a game to them.”
So far they have raised more than £10,000 to equip anti-poaching units and provide resources for rangers working to protect wildlife in the Serengeti.
The couple are continuing to raise to meet their £50,000 target. To donate visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/seeing-red.
●● Paul Naden and wife Lisa Norgren with a guide on the Serengeti trek
●● They needed to be accompanied by armed rangers